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HDC owed $12.4M

By ANDRE BAGOO Wednesday, July 30 2014

THE HOUSING Development Corporation (HDC) is claiming $12.4 million it says is owed by a contractor at work on the long-delayed Victoria Keys, Diego Martin housing project, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal said as he described a litany of gaps and problems with projects in the area.

Moonilal said the HDC projects, which he said once fell under former Housing Minister (now Opposition Leader) Dr Keith Rowley, have been delayed due to a long list of problems stemming from incomplete designs.

The Housing Minister said the Victoria Keys project — which features 288 units — would be completed by August and the Chaconia Crescent and Vieux Fort projects by 2015. In relation to Victoria Keys, he said no provision has been made for garbage disposal; disabled access and residential services. There was an instruction for another storey to be added onto the complex which features three buildings.

“The instruction to extend this building was made without reference to approvals,” Moonilal said. He said there were no provisions made for street lighting and external lighting as well as telecommunications, cable, CCTV and other infrastructure such as community pathways and links. Moonilal said the project had fallen victim recently, to a contractor delay, but he did not provide specifics.

He said the HDC was seeking to get the $12.4 million sum from the contractor. In relation to Chaconia Crescent, he said a storey was similarly added to that project and variations and omissions in designs caused problems. Some aspects omitted included: external works required a car park; retaining walls; underground storage tanks; paving; lighting; a guard booth and landscaping. There were four separate contracts, resulting in oversight problems as one project management team was not appointed. The project saw, “theft and pilferage of electrical items.”

“They had serious deficiencies of design and a failure to have a scope of works,” Moonilal said. He said these gaps in design occurred while the then Government boasted about its quick record of housing. There were also missing aspects of the design for Vieux Fort including missing plans for water and sewerage; electricity; lighting; garbage disposal; retaining walls and an entrance gate, the Minister said.

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